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Mariah's Story

 Mariah's Commitment

During our twelve day Earth Camp trip we had to overcome many changes and adapt to better choices. Immediately we started taking steps to become a leader for shared planet. Our group made wise decisions like composting, recycling, navy showers, using cloth napkins, and preparing our own meals. Now it is time to take what we learned and make one commitment to making the earth a better place.

As I began brain storming what my one loyalty would be I looked back on day eight. On this day we were allowed to wash our laundry. Although Amy informed us that we were leaders for a shared planet and would be hanging our laundry to dry. At first I was skeptical yet optimistic. The thought of air drying our clothes sounded like a waste of time. However, our garments all dried fairly quickly.

The truth is our region is so unbearably hot that I believe there is no need for a dryer at all. So much energy and electricity is used for such a simple task that has such a beneficial alternative. Therefore, my earth camp commitment is to air dry everything i throw in the wash. I am completely confident that this will be a life style change that will stay with me. 

Day Two

It was around three in the morning when Alex and I discovered we were not the only ones that found shelter in the security of our tent. Alex was the first victim receiving horrible pain on her back and leg. After digging out and misting her with bug spray we returned to our sleeping bags. Half an hour later I was almost in a full state of sleep when I felt the sensation of something crawling across my face.  I swiped the creature from my cheek, receiving unbearable pain on my hand. The pain was so intense that it immediately woke me up. It took almost an hour to fall back asleep as thoughts raced through my mind about the visitor that was still in our tent. 

Hours later as the sun rose to welcome us with warm rays of sunshine we started packing up. Around this time I became aware that my hand was completely numb. Then Alex discovered what had caused us so much pain and discomfort, a scorpion.

We continued with our morning while the numbness crawled up my arm. I couldn’t touch anything without giggling. After eating breakfast we drove down the street from the nature conservancy to a steep hill. The group climbed to the top and learned about the natives that settled upon it.

While we drove to Snowflake, AZ I was informed that we had one more stop to make and I was not pleased. It took for what seemed like forever to find the hospital in Globe. As we pulled into the parking lot my stomach twisted in knots. I had never been to the emergency room, let alone without my family. But Amy stepped in and took the role of mom as I was examined and informed that I would be fine.

Finally our group reunited at a nearby park and made our way to Snowflake for lunch. We ate lunch on the grass as Lynn told us of the town and how his great grandfather founded it. 

The next stop on our list was one that I found extremely exciting, Canyon de Chelly. Upon  our arrival we met Howard our Native American guide. All of us grabbed our heavy packs and made our way dow the steep canyon trail. At some points the only thing that kept us from a fatal fall was makeshift barriers of wood and wire. And at other points thing only way to get across little ravines was makeshift bridges. Canyon de Chelly was beautiful, dangerous, and worth while. As I reached the bottom I couldn’t help but think this might be one of my spots. A place I can visit and enjoy. A place I can escape and find peace. But soon the sun dismissed itself and the rays of light crept up the cliff walls leaving us in darkness. We gathered around the camp fire after dinner. Only illuminated by the fire we listened to Howard explain the canyon and watched the flicker of the flames. I was exhausted and once we were allowed to go our separate ways I crawled into my tent and nestled inside my sleeping bag. My eyes were heavy with sleep as i laid there hoping and praying there were no unwelcome guests inside our tent.

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